A Simple and Effective Pre Electric Shave Routine • ShaverCheck (2024)

One of the key (and often overlooked) elements of agreatshave is developing your own personal pre-shave routine.

This is the case with both electric and traditional wet shaving.

Many times we get lost in countless discussions about razors, technologies and the optimal number of blades and we ignore the one thing that can make or break our shaving experience: the prep work.

I’ve written a few general guides in the past on the topic of wet and dry electric shaving, but in this article we’ll focus exclusively on the pre-shave part.

A pre-shave routine represents all the necessary preparations and actions that take place prior to the actual shave.

The goal is pretty straightforward: a closer and more comfortable shave.

And that’s exactly what you’ll getwith only a few simple, but important steps.

With that said, I have always made a clear distinction between wet and dry electric shaving; they imply different costs, different razors, different maintenance work and lastly, different pre-shave routines.

While I personally use both methods (depending on time constraints and the actual shaver), this is ultimately a personal choice.

A Simple and Effective Pre Electric Shave Routine • ShaverCheck (1)

For some men, the addition of a shaving cream just doesn’t make a significant difference in their results.

It also takes more time and requires additional cleaning, so dry shaving is the more sensible choice in this case.

And that’s perfectly fine as shaving should be about what works best for you as an individual.

To keep things consistent (and practical), I will address the pre-shave routines for dry and wet shaving separately.

Assuming you have already bought the right electric razor, let’s check out the things you must do before actually shaving with it.

Pre electric shave routine for dry shaving

1. Eliminate any form of moisture.

In prepping your beard for a dry shave, the most important part has to do with the word dry.

To maximize comfort during the shave and the performance of your razor, you must ensure that your skin and shaver are as dry as possible.

For this reason, do not wash/exfoliate your face or take a shower just before shaving.

Also, if you have cleaned your razor with water make sure it is completely dry before using it.

The best time for a dry shave would be in the morning, right before taking a shower.

2. Use an electric pre-shave lotion.

An electric shaver has to put up with quite a few potential obstacles: flat-lying hairs, lack of lubrication, skin oils and moisture.

An electric pre-shave lotion or powder provides a layer of lubrication (particularly the powders), absorbs and eliminates moisture, tones the skin and causes the hairs to stand straight.

A Simple and Effective Pre Electric Shave Routine • ShaverCheck (2)

For most men that shave dry, including a pre-shave in their routine will be beneficial.

It’s difficult to predict the impact it will have on your results, so your best bet would be to actually give it a shot.

Pre-shave lotions are generally inexpensive and will last a long time, so make sure to check out our in-depth article where we discuss the different types of electric pre-shave products.

3.Charge, clean and lubricate your razor.

This may go without saying, but having a properly charged and clean shaver should definitely be on your pre-shave checklist.

Most shavers can’t maintain peak power output when the battery is almost drained and this is when hair pulling and tugging can occur.

Apart from the discomfort, the closeness of the shave will also suffer.

A Simple and Effective Pre Electric Shave Routine • ShaverCheck (3)

Regular lubrication of the cutters and foils of your razor is also extremely important.

The blades and foils are componentsmachined withextremely low tolerances, so the friction during operation will cause them to get hot and they will also wear out faster.

A shaving head that gets hot during use can and will cause painful irritation.

To minimize this effect, make sure to use a drop of light lubricating oil on the foils at least two times a week.

4. Trim your beard to a manageable length if you haven’t shaved in a long time.

This is not actually specific to dry shaving, but to electric shaving in general.

Very long facial hair can be problematic even for the most capable electric razors, so just use a regular hair trimmer to reduce it to a reasonable length.

I’ve come across many reviews on Amazon for example where a particular shaver was being bashed for performing poorly on a fully-grown beard.

Electric shavers are designed to work on short facial hair.

5. Always start with the most difficult portions of your face.

For the vast majority of men that would be the neck: flat-lying hairs, sensitive and irritation prone skin, different direction of hair growth.

There are a few reasons why I recommend starting your shave with the trickiest parts.

First of all, they require more time, attention, effort and passes.

Moreover, you’ll be making constant adjustments of angle, direction, and pressure to your razor, so it’s best to be on top of your game and don’t rush through it.

Another reason is that your shaver will continue to get warmer as you use it, so again it’s probably a good idea to start off with the most sensitive and irritation prone areas.

Finally, the battery will drain as you shave, and you’ll want maximum power and performance for this part.

This isn’t a problem if your shaver is fully charged, but there will probably be times when it won’t be.

Pre electric shave routine for wetshaving

1. Wash your face and use plenty of hot water.

Wet shaving is called wet for a reason.

This is in my opinion the most important factor to keep in mind in the context of wet shaving, regardless if you’re using an electric razor or a razor blade.

The principles of traditional wet shaving apply here as well, even if the actual tools we use are different in design and function.

I highly recommend taking a shower beforehand and washing your face with a mild cleansing product and warm water.

This step is extremely important as hot water opens the pores and softens the hairs.

Also, washing your face gets rid of all the dead skin and dirt. It’s also a very good idea to exfoliate your skin a couple of times a week using a gentle facial scrub.

2. Shaving cream is actually the best pre-shave you can use, so give it time to act.

Allow me to further explain this.

A shaving cream must accomplish two main things: provide lubrication and soften the tough outer shell of the hair, called the cuticle.

A quality shaving cream contains a form of alkaline substance (like Potassium Hydroxide or Sodium Hydroxide) that when combined with hot water, is capable of softening this shell, making it much easier for the razor to cut the hairs.

In order for this to happen, we must allow the lather a few minutes to actually act on the hairs before we start the actual shave.

So next time don’t just start shaving right away and you’ll most likely see the benefits of this. Just remember to use a qualityshaving cream and plenty of hot water.

3. Massage the lather into the hairs and use just enough to cover them.

When applying the lather to your face, work it gently against the grain using your hand or brush.

This will lift the hairs that lie flat on the skin.

Also, you’ll want to use a thin layer of lather that barely covers the hairs; using too much will negatively impact the performance of the razor and the closeness of the shave will suffer.

Regarding the consistency of the lather, I personally prefer one that is more watery and slick than dry, but you’ll have to experiment for yourself to find the right balance.

4. Thoroughly cleaning and lubricating your razor is particularly important with wet shaving, so make sure this is taken care of.

Using your electric razor with shaving cream makes proper cleaning after every use mandatory.

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Hair, dirt and shaving cream that has dried out can form build-ups that will impact the performance of the shaver.

Unless your razor comes with a cleaning station, you’ll most likely use hot tap water and some liquid soap to clean the blades, foils and inner housing of the shaving head.

But in doing so, you also get rid of any lubrication the moving parts might have.

And as I said previously, this can lead to excessive heat and premature wear of the blades and foils. Therefore, make sure to put a drop of lubricant on these parts after you clean them.


A pre-electric shave routine is all about prepping the terrain and making things easier for the electric shaver.

It’s a sum of simple, basic, even trivial adjustments, but when we put them together they have a major impact on the final results and can really transform your shaving experience.

Don’t skimp on any of these steps and, as always, enjoy your shave.

A Simple and Effective Pre Electric Shave Routine • ShaverCheck (2024)


A Simple and Effective Pre Electric Shave Routine • ShaverCheck? ›

Preparation Before The Shave

A good quality pre shave oil: This can be just normal pre shave oil or specifically formulated electric razor pre shave oil, both will allow the razor to glide effortlessly over the skin and will decrease the chances of painful pulling.

Should you use pre shave with electric shaver? ›

Preparation Before The Shave

A good quality pre shave oil: This can be just normal pre shave oil or specifically formulated electric razor pre shave oil, both will allow the razor to glide effortlessly over the skin and will decrease the chances of painful pulling.

What does electric pre shave do? ›

Pre-electric shave lotions are specifically formulated to improve the closeness and comfort of a dry shave while reducing the time it takes to complete it. They work by drying any moisture and oils from the skin, making the hairs stand straight to be easily captured by the shaver with fewer strokes.

Should you exfoliate before or after electric shave? ›

Exfoliating before you shave is crucial to prep your skin. By buffing away any dead cells, excess oil, and dirt, you reduce the chances of inflammation and redness occurring right after shaving and as hairs begin to grow back. Exfoliating pre-shave brings other benefits, too.

What should I do pre-shave? ›

How to set up a Pre-Shave Routine
  • Step One: Set out your items. In cooking, this is called mise en place. ...
  • Step Two: Cleanse your face. ...
  • Step Three: Use a hot towel to increase blood flow to your skin. ...
  • Step Four: Apply shaving oil or other pre-shave conditioner. ...
  • Step Five: Lather while the pre-shave sits on your skin.
Nov 21, 2022

Should you wet your face before electric shaving? ›

Treat your entire shaving area with a facecloth soaked in warm (close to hot, but not so hot as to burn) water. This step is important for any wet shave (manual or electric) because it softens your facial hair and makes it easier for your razor to cut.

What gel to use with electric shaver? ›

You can use any type of shaving foam or gel available in the supermarket or pharmacy with your wet and dry Philips Shaver. If you have sensitive skin, we advise you to use a shaving foam or gel for sensitive skin.

Do you wash off pre-shave? ›

The pre-shave oil will wash straight off afterwards along with the cream, and you can subsequently apply an aftershave as you normally would.

How do I get the best results from my electric razor? ›

Shave against the direction of hair growth.

Unlike shaving with a razor blade, you should always move an electric shaver against the hair grain. You can use your free hand to feel the stubble and stretch the skin. Use short, controlled strokes against the grain when shaving with foil shavers.

Do you use an electric razor with wet or dry hair? ›

Unless you're using one of the new breed of wet and dry shavers – which can be used with or without water – you'll get much better results from an electric shaver if your stubble is bone dry and stiff. To make sure it's free of dirt and sebum (the skin's natural oil) use an alcohol-based pre-electric shave product.

How do you shave with an electric razor without getting razor bumps? ›

  1. Shave in circular motions. ...
  2. Apply gentle pressure to avoid shaving irritation. ...
  3. Avoid trying for a very close shave. ...
  4. Target your shaving problem. ...
  5. Approach from different angles. ...
  6. Apply alcohol-free aftershave. ...
  7. Clean your shaver. ...
  8. Shave regularly – but not too regularly.

Is it better to electric shave after shower? ›

If you use an electric razor, then the best time to shave is before showering. Electric razors are far more efficient on dry skin, than wet. If you're part of the electric razor crew, stop reading and go shave your dry face!

Can you use electric shaver everyday? ›

Little and Often Electric shavers work much better the shorter your facial hair, so little and often is the key. Shave every day, even on the weekend. Tempting as it is to have a couple of days off, the longer the hair the more difficult and uncomfortable the shave will be, which doesn't bode well for Monday morning.

Is pre-shave the same as shaving cream? ›

Pre-shave oil nourishes your pores and hair follicles at a micro-close reach, while shaving cream conditions the face and beard more superficially for a better razor flow. You must always first prep your face on a deeper level before using shaving cream.

What is the best order to shave and exfoliate? ›

The Cleveland Clinic recommends exfoliating prior to shaving, as exfoliating first will help prevent the razor from becoming overloaded with dead skin cells, which reduces its effectiveness. Basically, exfoliating first is a serious pro-tip for a closer shave.

What is the best exfoliator before shaving? ›

Exfoliate Before Shaving

Instead, opt for a gentler chemical exfoliator. Ingredients like alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) work to exfoliate the skin by encouraging cellular turnover. BHAs are especially great because they're lipid-loving acids, which means they love oil.

What should I do after shaving with an electric razor? ›

Apply a hydrating, moisturizing and calming aftershave balm. A quality aftershave balm will calm the irritations of the skin, keeping it hydrated and well nourished. Stay away from the ones that contain alcohol and nasty chemicals, like parabens and phthalates.

Should I shave in the morning or night before? ›

In the morning the skin is more rested and relaxed, it is in fact in its best condition, allowing you to try a more comfortable shaving.

How long should you wait to shave after exfoliating? ›

Exfoliating right before you shave is the best time because it will remove the dead skin cells and leave a nice clean slate for shaving. It will also ensure you get the perfect shave and reduce razor burn.

Why does my electric razor not shave well? ›

Hair clippings, dirt, dead skin or lather buildups can seriously impact the performance of a shaver. Depending on how you use your shaver (wet or dry), you may need to thoroughly clean your shaver more often.

Should I use hot or cold water before shaving? ›

Shaving with cold water gives a better and smoother shave.

Water alone, no matter warm or cold, opens and closes the hair cuticle thus softening the hair.

Do you use hot or cold water after shaving? ›

The Ultimate Guide To After The Shave

The first thing to do is to rinse your face thoroughly with warm water to clean any remaining shaving lather from the skin. When the skin is completely clean you should then rinse your face with very cold water.

Do you use soap with an electric razor? ›

Soap: If you're washing a waterproof electric razor, liquid soap and water will clean your shaving block just fine. But if you're cleaning clippers, trimmers, or a non-waterproof razor, you'll need to use the spray cleaner we mention below.

Do electric shavers cause ingrown hairs? ›

Because electric shavers don't shave quite as close and the hairs are also cut clean and straight, there are fewer chances of them curling back into the skin and becoming ingrown. If you're already dealing with acne or razor bumps, an electric shaver will arguably be a better and safer choice.

What is the best oil to shave with? ›

Essential Oil Benefits for Shaving:
  • Haitian Moringa Oil. ...
  • Haitian Black Castor Oil. ...
  • Sandalwood Oil. ...
  • Lavender Oil. ...
  • Jojoba Oil. ...
  • Peppermint Oil.
Oct 26, 2021

Can you use any oil as pre-shave oil? ›

Most leading pre shave oils contain natural oils, which are low on the grease factor, such as coconut, sunflower, olive or other oils drawn from plants may be considered the best oils to use. Such oils will not clog the skin pores.

Should you leave shaving cream on before shaving? ›

Let the cream sit for two to three minutes.

Particularly if you have thicker facial hair, this helps the shaving cream penetrate the hairs and soften them. While you wait, you can brush your teeth or comb your hair.

What gives the closest shave? ›

Generally speaking wet shaving tends to achieve the closest shave but does take more time when it comes to preparation and time. If you do have the time, we'd recommend using a shaving brush to evenly lather shaving foam against the skin.

Which razor gives the closest shave? ›

If you want the closest possible shave and don't need extra features, the Bevel Safety Razor is the blade for you. Utilizing a single, double-edged blade, the Bevel gives a remarkably close shave.

Is a foil shaver better than a straight razor? ›

Benefits of using a foil shaver

Cuts hair at a higher speed, as the foil shaver spins faster than a rotary shaver – foil shavers have a high vibration rate of up to 14,000 cycles per minute. Perfect for trimming sideburns and moustaches as foil shavers are shaped in a straight line, offering a high level of precision.

Why is my electric razor pulling my hair? ›

The battery has enough juice in it.

A dying battery will have trouble powering the motor and cutting the hairs, forcing you to go over the same area multiple times. Pulling and tugging can also occur, increasing the chances of irritation.

What is the secret to no razor bumps? ›

Before shaving, wash your skin with a non-comedogenic cleanser. While shaving, always use a moisturizing shaving cream. Once you're done shaving, apply a soothing aftershave formulated to reduce risk of razor bumps and irritation. Use proper technique when shaving to reduce bumps.

Can an electric razor shave as close as a blade? ›

1. Electric shavers don't shave as close as a blade. Even though high-end shavers like the Panasonic Arc 5 and Arc 6 can get very close performance-wise to a blade, they still can't match it.

How do you get smooth pubic area after shaving? ›

  1. Choose the right bikini shaving tools. ...
  2. Use a sharp razor blade. ...
  3. Hydrate your skin. ...
  4. Try exfoliating. ...
  5. Lather on shaving gel. ...
  6. Shave lightly with steady strokes. ...
  7. Be careful if shaving against the grain. ...
  8. Rinse off your bikini line and razor.

Should I shave my pubic hair? ›

Shaving, whether it's your legs, armpits, or pubic area, is a personal choice. You certainly don't have to shave before sex if you don't want to. Shaving pubic hair (or not) is a cosmetic preference, and it does not mean you are "cleaner" if you shave. If you do prefer to shave, try not to do it right before sex.

Should you trim pubes before or after shower? ›

When it comes to the best way to shave your balls - or any other body parts, it's best to tackle this after a shower. This is mainly because of the hot steam produced during bathing, which helps open up your pores and softens the skin before you apply a razor to it.

How often should you oil your electric shaver? ›

How often should you oil your shaver?
  1. Twice a week if you don't use liquid soap to clean your razor. A spray lubricant is probably more practical in this case as it also helps with cleaning the parts.
  2. Before or after every shave if you clean your razor with soap and water.
Jul 16, 2022

Do electric razors leave stubble? ›

Don't pick up the electric shaver immediately; you need to give your skin a few minutes to breathe and allow for the hair to soften. Don't wait too long either. Your skin swells in the heat and could leave you with stray stubble to tackle after.

What is the closest thing to shaving cream? ›

What can I use instead of shaving cream?
  • Conditioner. A normal hair conditioner is a readily available alternative to shaving cream, which softens the hair on your face just as it does the hair on your head, making it easier for your razor to cut through. ...
  • Coconut oil. ...
  • Body lotion. ...
  • Aloe vera gel.
Apr 29, 2022

How do you make electric shaving less painful? ›

1. Electric shaver basics
  1. Replace dull blades and worn foils. ...
  2. Lubricate the foils and blades. ...
  3. Thoroughly clean your razor after every use. ...
  4. Make sure the battery has enough juice. ...
  5. Dry shaving only: use a pre-electric shave lotion. ...
  6. Wet shaving only: use a quality shaving cream. ...
  7. Don't press too hard.
May 24, 2019

Should you Lectric shave before or after shower? ›

If you use an electric razor, then the best time to shave is before showering. Electric razors are far more efficient on dry skin, than wet. If you're part of the electric razor crew, stop reading and go shave your dry face!

Should you trim pubes before or after shower electric shaver? ›

Warm water hydrates and softens your pubic hair and skin for an easier cut. So, shower for a few minutes before you dive into shaving down there. In the meantime, you can wash the rest of your body…or practice your karaoke faves. Lubrication is essential for shaving, especially when you're shaving pubic hair.

How do I prevent razor bumps on my electric razor? ›

  1. Shave in circular motions. ...
  2. Apply gentle pressure to avoid shaving irritation. ...
  3. Avoid trying for a very close shave. ...
  4. Target your shaving problem. ...
  5. Approach from different angles. ...
  6. Apply alcohol-free aftershave. ...
  7. Clean your shaver. ...
  8. Shave regularly – but not too regularly.

Does shaving with coconut oil prevent razor bumps? ›

The beauty of shaving with coconut oil is that it softens your skin and to follicle to prevent the growth of ingrown hairs that causes razor bumps (no one has time for that!).

What oil is best for shaving down there? ›

Baby oil helps soften the skin and the hair, which can lead to a smoother shave with less irritation. Look for pure mineral oil or baby oil without any additional ingredients.

Is it better to shave pubes wet or dry? ›

Keep your skin moist if you're planning to shave. You need this lubrication to minimize friction and avoid nicks. Using cream or gel can also allow you to see where you've just shaved so you can avoid going over the area twice and causing irritation.

Where should I shave my pubes shower or toilet? ›

The golden rule of ball-shaving is to always hold the skin taut so there are no wrinkles or curves that could catch skin or cause cuts. You may also want to get into a good position by sitting down so that you can reach all those tough angles. The toilet is a great option if you don't have a seat in the shower.


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